Camping is tremendous fun for most youngsters, but a little advance planning certainly makes life easier. Where you go and the kind of camping you will do depends to a great extent on the ages and interests of the children.
Very small tots are usually happiest if they can play on a long sloping beach. Children from 6 to 12 enjoy improved campgrounds with other families around, with plenty of playmates and a place to swim.
Older children may enjoy the challenge of wilderness camping, or they may prefer gregarious camps where boating and water-skiing are available.
Camping with Children: Tips & Checklist
Having kids outside for the first time can be priceless for parents. All we have to do make a checklist and check everything before the start. There are few tips for camping with your baby-
Clothing for the Campers with Children
To a child, one of the joys of camping is being able to get wet and dirty as often as he likes. Plenty of durable old shoes and clothing is the rule; jeans and flannel shirts or T-shirts are standard. Sneakers are ideal to wear around camp—comfortable, inexpensive, and washable.
You will want to pack swimsuits and plenty of warm outer clothing for evenings or unexpected cold. Be sure to bring rainwear for them; sudden showers won’t dampen their enthusiasm.
Getting on the Way
Children get restless on a long trip, so plan ahead to make the trip a delight instead of a trial.
Keep them comfortable. Pack your gear in the car so that the smaller ones can see out (build up the back seat with sleeping bags or blankets), move around a bit, or nap. Use suitcases and other objects to build up the floor space in the back of the car so that it is level with the seat.
Some station wagon campers make a second floor out of plywood and mount it in the back compartment below the windows. Camp gear is stowed below it and a mattress on top makes a bed.
Keep the children entertained. Toys and picture books and even simple guessing games will appeal to young children.
School-age children love car games—identifying license plates or automobiles, Twenty Questions, I Spy, and other guessing games.
Stop often so they can stretch their legs. A five-minute stop every couple of hours, along with regular comfort-station stops, will let them work off childish energies. Lunch should be a longer
Camping Essentials with the Baby
With the versatile baby equipment and disposable items now available, taking the baby camping is no longer the chore it once was. Now more families campers are doing it as a matter of course. In our family camping tips and tricks article, we have touched this topic. However, you can see the points here too.
Here are a few pointers for camping with your kids.
- Check with your family doctor before you go, and came within range of a doctor. (Rangers are trained to give first aid.)
- If you plan to use dry formula at camp, get the baby on it well ahead of time.
- A change in water may upset the baby; bring a gallon or two from home to last through the first few days. Camp water may have a high mineral content, so you may want to use distilled water for formula during the entire stay.
- Be sure to bring enough canned baby food. Find out in advance if you can replenish the supply locally.
- Disposable diapers will lighten your daily workload.
- Washing or rinsing diapers in lakes or streams are illegal; it pollutes the water. Rinse diapers, soak in a pail overnight with diaper soap, then put them through several hot rinses next morning.
- Avoid spraying insect poisons around the baby or his things. Use mosquito netting to protect him while he sleeps.
What to Take for Baby Camping (kids camping gear)
Camping with kids needs some extra things to have on the trip.
These items will need for essential baby carriage and keeping him safe. You’ll want to consider taking along some of the following for your baby:
- Bed-carriage with removable wheels.
- Combination playpen Crib
- Car seat Car bed (under 6 months)
- Family camping tent
- Collapsible playpen
- Bottle warmer which plugs into the car lighter
- Back carrier-several types available
Some make into a car seat and high chair break.
Stopping in spots for baby
A relaxed schedule prevents arguments and fussing brought on by fatigue. If time permits make brief stops along the way at children’s museums, playgrounds, or swimming pools. Adults, if too intent on getting to the destination, may overlook the trip itself as a source of pleasure for children.
Baby foods to take
Bring milk or juice in a thermos and crackers and fruit to quench thirst and still hunger pangs between meals. Along with the food for adults, you need some special one that gives strength to the children.
Sweets should be avoided if possible, as the motion of the car combined with too many sweets sometimes upsets small stomachs.
Washcloth and tablets for children
Carry a dampened washcloth or two in a plastic bag, or tuck in some disposable pre-moistened paper towels for wiping off sticky hands and faces.
If the children are prone to car sickness, have your doctor prescribe motion-sickness tablets for them to take and have a few paper bags on hand for emergencies.
Be sure they get plenty of fresh air. It sometimes helps a car-sick child if you let him ride in the front seat for a while.
Sun and Bug Protection for Children on Camping Trips
According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), we can’t use sunscreen on a toddler. We need to consult with a doctor before using sunscreen on a child who is younger than 6 months. So, we need nature remedy.
Using cloth full sleeve will give limited sun exposure. Wearing full pants, hat or cap and socks will help. Keep them away from the sun. Choose a campsite that’s shady and use an umbrella.
For bug protection, it’s the same. Wearing full protected clothing. If you use any kind of cream for protection you have to consult with a pediatrician. Also using a head net, lighting citronella candles can be helpful.
Tent Camping with Kids
Keeping everything simple is the key to great camping. We need to take the most important stuff.
Bringing big and the family tent is always helpful. The extra space will work in our favor. If the tent is big enough we can bring a portable crib.
That will help in the nighttime. Extra Space in the tent will help to walk with a child. The tent shouldn’t be close to another camper. Distance from people can give space and peace.
You can start and keep the kids on setting up the campsite, tent, hammocks or other items. They will feel better and learn.
Playful stuff like stuffed toy or child book will help sometime. But in outdoor playing with nature will be the best. Everything is a toy for a child. So, we don’t need to pack everything.
How to Keep the Kids Busy in Camping
Once you reach camp, you seldom have to worry about keeping children amused. The new surroundings will interest them, and in most camping areas they will find playmates among other camping families.
The whole family should explore the campsite vicinity soon after arrival so that all will know what activities are available, what places must be avoided, and what precautions are necessary.
Set up a few camp rules (most of which are common sense or good manners): To stay within the confines of the campsite and out of other people’s camps; not to litter, either in or out of camp; never to destroy or damage natural life or features.
Some people put their kids on the camping hammocks and feel safe. Well, the normal hammocks have wide open spaces and thus the kids have chances to fall. If you have hammock tent covering it, then you can keep them safe on it.
Teach them to recognize poison ivy or poison oak and to stay away from it. Make them understand the dangers of approaching too close to wild animals.
Assign a few chores to each child old enough to help and remember to rotate chores later. All except the very young should take care of personal gear. Children can gather firewood, help build the fire, try their hand at camp cooking and setting up equipment.
Fun in Camp for Your Kids
Younger children should have a favorite toy or two in camp, as well as games, storybooks, puzzles, and coloring materials. Older ones will enjoy reading, drawing, and table games in the evenings for a change of pace.
Provide incentive for them to help keep the camp clean; you might suggest collecting and making a chain of the beverage can rings, with a prize
for the child with the longest chain at the end of your stay.
Taking Pets to Camp Can Be Enjoyable for Your Kids
Some campgrounds do not allow pets; others do but specify that pets must be kept on a leash, under the owner’s control, or confined in a vehicle. If you start car camping, then taking pets will be easier.
At night animals must remain inside a tent or vehicle. Some parks do not allow animals on trails. Pets are not allowed to stay in camp if they are noisy, vicious, dangerous, or disturbing to others.
If you are going to take your pet to camp, you must plan for him as for another member of the family. He will need utensils, food, grooming tools, and shelter if accustomed to it.
Some Necessary Cation for Pets
A pet who seldom rides in an automobile must go through a training period. Let him sit in the parked car a few times. Then take him on short trips.
Ask your vet what you can give him to prevent car sickness. Don’t give him food for several hours before leaving, and very little water. Taking extra safety measure for dogs can be really helpful.
You can give him small amounts of water along the way, but refrain from feeding until you’ve finished the day’s traveling. Stop and let your pet out occasionally but keep him on a leash.
Pets should not be leashed by the collar in the car; they can jump out an open window and break their necks or strangle. Nor should pets be left in a closed car, particularly in the sun. Leave two windows partially open on opposite sides for cross ventilation, and park in the shade if possible.
If you are taking a dog over state lines, be sure you have a certificate showing a rabies vaccination within the past 6 months. Some states require it.
Involve the Kids in Outdoor Cooking
Many children learn the rudiments of outdoor cookery through organized groups or at a summer camp. These supervised lessons are just a start, and during a camping trip, they might like to do some outdoor cooking on their own.
If you would like to help your children learn more about outdoor cooking, here are some suggestions for cooking projects for small groups of children, from ages 7 to 16. The cooking skills that children can handle depend on their previous experience. As parents, you can guide them to try techniques within their abilities.
Outdoor cooking for children follows a logical succession: planning meals, building and tending a fire, organizing equipment, cooking on a stick, mastering one-pot cookery, frying-pan cookery, camping cooking wood stove, foil cookery, barbecuing, and taking responsibility for cleanup. More advanced skills include baking in a reflector oven and in a bean hole.
You can find recipes for simple dishes in Scouting manuals or booklets published by organized youth groups. Group leaders have found the following cooking techniques successful with both boys and girls of different ages.
Ages Following the Outdoor Cooking Types
Ages 7, 8. Fire building, cooking cocoa, toasting bread for sandwiches, and making S’mores. This age is very eager but impatient. They are competent to carry out simple, one-step projects.
Ages 9 to 11. Stick cookery, such as Bread Twists; all kinds of kebabs, breakfasts, one-pot meals, and cooking over a tin can stoves. This age still does not have patience with foods that cook slowly.
Ages 12 to 14 Junior high). Barbecuing; plank cooking; hot rock cookery; and foil cookery of individual stews, baked potatoes, and baked apples. Younger children will find foil cookery difficult; it is hard for them to judge the heat of the fire and tell when the food is cooked.
Ages 15, 16. Reflector oven cooking of gingerbread, biscuits, fruit cobbler, bean hole cookery.
Sleep of Your Kids in Camping
Sleep is normally hard with children. In wild (not going to lie) it will be more difficult. They won’t sleep timely so packing few extra shots of coffee will be a big help.
The first day is always hard. In new condition, they can be tough but with time we can pray and hope they will sleep. So, sleeping time is important. There are no rules here, we can make everything comfortable and cozy so the child feels easy.
With a child, it’s kind of better if you choose a campsite less crowdie. That way your child’s scream won’t bother another camper. If it’s in a crowdie place then we can hope people will be forgiving.
Sleeping with a schedule is also important. The child doesn’t need to sleep on time. There should be a new technique. Try out every possible way and work with the best.
Sleep is also important for a parent. If the mother is awake with the child, the father should sleep and vice versa. Though sleeping is very tough when a child is screaming. But we have to try. In this way at least someone will be available when the child will suddenly wake up and scream.
Keeping track of children
Impress children that if they do get lost, to stay in one place until found. Some parents pin identification badges on the youngest children or give each child a whistle to blow if lost.
If the older ones are hiking by themselves, set an alarm clock and put it in one of their knapsacks to remind them to start back to camp.